This case comes to this Court on a writ of certiorari to review a decree of the Circuit Court of Madison County, in Equity, which adjudged the petitioner, Howard Seymore, in contempt for violating the terms of a temporary restraining order which the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama had ordered the Register of the Circuit Court of Madison County to issue.
It is further alleged that the respondents, Textile Workers Union of America, CIO, Local Number 230, an unincorporated labor organization, J. D. Brooks, individually, and as President of said Textile Workers Union of America, CIO, Local Number 230, and Howard Seymore have wilfully violated said temporary restraining order in that they seized hold of one Albert Tanner while he was crossing the plant premises of the complainant, Lincoln Mills of Alabama, on his way into said plant to work on August 2, 1955, and pushed and dragged him off said plant premises with physical violence, struck him about his right ear from behind, threw him to the ground, told him that they would not allow anyone to work in said plant and told him not to return there.
The temporary restraining order to which these charges refer is the temporary restraining order which the Chief Justice of this Court ordered the Register of the Circuit Court of Madison County to issue, returnable to the Circuit Court of Madison County. The order contained the following provisions:
I. It appears to be conceded that this case is a case of constructive criminal contempt. As was said in Ex parte Hill, 229 Ala. 501, 158 So. 531, 532, "A criminal contempt is one in which the purpose of the proceeding is to impose punishment for disobedience to the orders of the court." Furthermore a constructive contempt "consists of an act done, not in the presence of the court, but at a distance. * * *." Dangel on Contempt, § 5, p. 3. With this premise it is argued that petitioner Seymore was not afforded the due process assured him under both Section 6 of Article I of the Constitution of Alabama and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
In any type of proceeding where a person's liberty is at stake, the question of due process is fundamental. Johnson v. State, 242 Ala. 278, 5 So.2d 632. This Court has stated the requirements of Constitutional due process in cases of constructive contempt in Hunter v. State, 251 Ala. 11, 37 So.2d 276, 278, as follows: "Due process requires that the accused shall be advised of the charges, and have a reasonable opportunity to meet them. This includes the assistance of counsel, if requested, the right to call witnesses, to give testimony, relevant either to the issue of complete exculpation or extenuation of the offense and in mitigation of the penalty imposed." See also Cooke v. United States, 267 U.S. 517, 45 S.Ct. 390, 69 L.Ed. 767; Ex parte Bankhead, 200 Ala. 102, 75 So. 478; Dangel on Contempt, p. 209, § 446.
The foregoing requirements as to due process were complied with. The respondent was advised by issuance of a citation or rule to him to appear and answer the charge. This citation or rule to show cause contained a full statement of charges. The order for citation was itself a written charge and the citation was pleading as well as notice. Hunter v. State, supra. Of course due process requires that the accused shall have reasonable opportunity to meet the charges that have been filed against him. In the case at bar not only was the petitioner served with a rule to show cause, but he, on his part, filed a plea of abatement as well as a response to the petition which admitted the allegations in the first paragraph of the bill but denied others. Petitioner was represented by counsel and called witnesses in his own behalf. Accordingly, there was no lack of due process in the proceeding against the petitioner. Authorities supra.
II. It is argued that where two persons are jointly, charged with commission of a crime and the proof shows the commission of the offense severally by each, there can be no conviction of either or both. The petition in the present instance was filed not only against Howard Seymore but also against Textile Workers Union of America, CIO, Local No. 230, an unincorporated labor organization, and also J. D. Brooks, as President of the aforesaid union. However, in this proceeding only one offense was charged. Johnson v. State, 44
III. The complaint is made that there is no finding of fact by the trial court. In contempt matters it is consistently held that review of a conviction does not extend to questions of fact. The law is well expressed in Ex parte Wetzel, 243 Ala. 130, 8 So.2d 824, 825, where this court said: "Upon petition for certiorari the Court does not review questions of fact, but only questions of law." We consider that there is no merit in the contention that the decree rendered by the court is erroneous for a failure to include a finding of facts. Ex parte Bankhead, 200 Ala. 102, 75 So. 478; Easton v. State, 39 Ala. 551.
IV. The position is taken that the court was in error in permitting complainant to cross-examine petitioner concerning acts of violence by other persons at other times. In each case the petitioner answered that he had no part in these other acts of violence and know nothing about them except by hearsay. Again, it is sufficient to point out that we are not considering the trial in the lower court as if it were on appeal here but only because it is before this court on a petition for writ of certiorari. Accordingly, rulings on the evidence are not before us since these rulings do not show error apparent on the record. Ex parte Bankhead, supra; Ex parte Dickens, 162 Ala. 272, 50 So. 218.
V. It is claimed that there was no charge of mass picketing in the petition and, therefore, the court had no right to find the petitioner guilty of mass picketing. Upon a consideration of the matter we are not willing to uphold this position. Examination of the decree of the court shows that Howard Seymore was found guilty of violating the terms of the restraining order issued by the Chief Justice of this Court and as punishment "for said contempt of said respondent, Howard Seymore is sentenced to be confined in the Madison County Jail at Huntsville, Alabama, in the custody of the Sheriff of said County for a period of three days * * *." It is true that later on in the decree the respondent is found guilty of contempt of the restraining order in certain particulars, but upon a consideration of the entire decree, we interpret the particulars, including mass picketing of which the petitioner is found guilty, to be nothing more than a statement of the aggravated circumstances making up and constituting the contempt of which Howard Seymore is found guilty. Under this interpretation of the decree, the decree is not erroneous.
It results that the judgment of the lower court is due to be affirmed.
LIVINGSTON, C. J., and LAWSON and MERRILL, JJ., concur.